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starship-design: Re: Starship Design

In a message dated 7/3/00 4:41:44 PM, bldingel@rconnect.com writes:

>How often, in human history, has any civilization gone out of it's way
>to cover vast distances in order to colonize some other place and use it's
>Answer: Once, and by accident. Remember Christopher Columbus?

Actually most tribes would drift into new teratories.  Vikings got as far as 
the new world and Arabia.  But yes, without a damn good, and practical 
reason, you would colonize interstellar space, and I strongly argued against 
even considering it as a reason for a near term starflight.

>The likelyhood of any human enduring long travel at high speed for a short
>period of time (under 10 years) does just not exist. The only plauseable
>way to travel as far as Alpha Centauri and have a chance for colonization,
>is to live a few centuries in space and adapt to life out there. If 
>of adaptation and growth can take place during the trip, then you will
>have a new civilization and more intelligent people.

Adomently disagree.  
  - A slow ship is certain to never get there before faster ships launched 
  - A multigeneration ship, or one last more then a couple decadse, would 
need to be the size of a full civilization.  100's of thousands to millions 
of people, not hundreds.  The ship would need to be VAST in size.  
Inconceavable in any realistic senerio.
  - It would be far harder to to interest qualified personel to fly on such a 
ship with virtually no chance to get there and contribute to knew knowledge.
  -  It is technically vastly hard to make a slow long endurence ship, rather 
then a smaller faster ship.  Much less make it as safe.

>The only type of starship that would work is what I call the Neogenesis.
>It would be a planet that moves with only a small propulsion system, allowing
>it to coast, and stop, effectively.
>The only possible way to build the Neogenesis is to terraform the moon,
>and put a massive steel shield all the way around it, then you could put
>millions of greenhouses in the now 'Neogenesis' and let the terraforming
>take place naturally. Water would form on it's own, a climate would develope,
>the atmosphere would form. The gravity and magnetic field would have to
>be further strengthened to allow for 'normal' growth, so the Neogenesis
>would have to be spun faster.

Most of what you list (spining the "planet to increase the mag and gravity 
fields, generating a climae, etc) are pure fantasy and not even theoretically 
possible.  As to shelling in a planet, and boosting it.  Even if it was 
possible, it would be stupid and wastefull. It would be far easier to make a 
faster small ship, and the big "planet ship" wouldn't give any advantage.

>As soon as you had a stable environment, the Neogenesis would have to be
>towed by the Earth and the 'slingshot' theory would be given a go.
>When you reached Alpha Centauri, you would land the Neogenesis in orbit
>with the planet, bring down a ship from the Neogenesis to do research on
>it, and learn as much as necessary to colonize the planet.
>I'll leave the details to you.
>Brendan Porter of Northwest Iowa. Sophomore in Highschool.

Glad your interested in the site, but you need a lot more understanding of 
the basic ideas your talking about.

Kelly Starks